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Lunden Reign - 'American Stranger' http://rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/1a/b2/ff/Lunden-Reign-American-Stranger-14-1442345557.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     September 15, 2015    
 
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A great start to what should, hopefully, prove to be a productive career.

Lunden Reign is an L.A.-based Female-Fronted Modern Rock project that came to life in 2013. It is primarily Nikki Lunden (lead vocals, bass, keyboards) and Lora G Espinoza-Lunden (guitar/keyboards) but sadly there is nothing in the bio to confirm who else, aside from producer Luis Maldonado, has taken part in the actual creation of the album or who completes the live line-up. That said, Facebook indicates that Matthew Denis (bass), Steve Ornest (guitar) and Morgan Young (drums) are involved in some capacity.

Based on the cover artwork, I was expecting something more in the Symphonic Metal vein so was pleasantly surprised when opening track 'Love In Free Fall' came blasting through the speakers. The style is very commercial Modern Rock that has a strong 1980's flavour, almost like a blast from the past with a contemporary edge. 'The Savage Line' has a hook right out of the AOR song-writing manual and there is also a nice use of violin during the verse passage. 'Hush And Whispers' drives along on the back of a strong riff and has an anthemic arrangement that breaks down mid-song before the infectious hook catches hold again. It feels at times as though Nikki Lunden is holding back a little and it would have been good to hear her really push herself during the songs when the music impacts with more power.

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'28IF (Without, Which Not)' contains some sultry and smokey vocals and as the chorus approaches the sexiness in Nikki Lunden's voice is very appealing. The title track has a quirky melody line running through it and it is an imaginative variation on a tried and trusted theme. 'Mary' could have a come from any one of Heart's 1970's albums and this is complimented by 'The Light', a trippy retro number with a Led Zepplin-like riff at its core. The rawness of the production gives the impression of a band playing live in the studio and I'd be interested to discover just how '...Stranger' was created during a recording process that took place in Hollywood, London and L.A.

There is an air of familiarity and nostalgia about Lunden Reign that is both comforting and admirable yet it never feels anything but relevant. The writing is creative and the performances are really good and the overall vibe is both uplifting and addictive. 'American Stranger' is a great start to what should, hopefully, prove to be a productive career.

Dave Bott

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